The San Diego Republican African-American Caucus

Brian Brady Brian Brady 5 Comments

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Elliot Schroeder calls for some analysis of the national election results with an eye towards what might work locally:

“Trump  never had a chance in California so it’s makes sense not to cater to it. But for us Republicans behind the blue curtain we have less to stand on. Socially our policies never gave us a majority. Now that the GOP has shifted economically, that is gone too.”

I don’t know that “Trumpism” can’t thrive in San Diego County; he performed five points better here than he did in the rest of the State. While I am not interested in trade wars or supporting minimum wage laws, Trump taught us a lot about engagement. While it’s no secret that he pursued the “white working class” vote, he outperformed Romney with African-Americans — he said he would do that too.

Democratic policies are not working for African-Americans but they almost exclusively vote for Democrats. Local Republicans can win elections, over and over again by reducing the majority Democratic politicians receive from those voters by just 15 percent. In other words, if Republican candidates can earn 30 percent of the local African-American vote, they win.

Saturday Night Live and Tom Hanks parodied Trump voters but brought home a telling message; the “deplorables” and African-Americans have more in common culturally than not. I argue that both cultures want one thing more than anything else; upward mobility. Upward mobility comes from an opportunity to get a good paying job; Democratic policies are exporting good California jobs to Arizona, Washington, and Nevada.

Upward mobility comes from being able to raise a family in safe neighborhoods. Democratic policies make California less safe. Upward mobility comes from an opportunity to get a good education. Democratic policies force families to be wed to schools in their zip code.

Immigration law enforcement,  tax and regulatory relief, and school choice are three things our local Republicans should be discussing with everybody but ESPECIALLY with African-Americans. Why? There is a political incentive to do so but, more importantly, it’s the right thing to do.

Presidential candidate (and former Reagan Administration official), Senator Jim Webb (D-VA) talked about the opportunity in 2004:

“In fact, the greatest realignment in modern politics would take place rather quickly if the right national leader found a way to bring the Scots-Irish and African Americans to the same table, and so to redefine a formula that has consciously set them apart for the past two centuries.”

San Diego Republicans can (and should) lead the way. Mayor Kevin Faulconer does an excellent job with this but it’s going to take more than one politician to dramatically realign a political coalition. Republican volunteers need to go to Southeast San Diego and bring Southeast San Diegans into the Republican Party Central Committee. Brian Jones, Brian Maienschein, Joel Anderson, Marie Waldron, Rocky Chavez, Darrell Issa, and Duncan Hunter need to go to Southeast San Diego too.

We have much more to offer African-Americans than Democrats do, but, until we engage them permanently, we won’t be taken seriously.

The moral is always the practical. Republicans should do the moral thing and start taking the message to black communities.

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Comments 5

  1. Republicans in San Diego County have the blueprint of how to engage, challenge and win a larger than normal share of the Black vote; the 2002 general election for the 78th Assembly district.

    San Diego County is not Los Angeles County. The SDGOP needs to go after Black voters in all areas, but they need to treat them as voters. No identity politics. Tell them why the Democratic message in California is wrong and why the Republican message is better. They have to work on their basic infrastructure (which needs to happen for all voters for the SGOP), their ground game, precinct walkers, local volunteers. They have to make inroads with ministers, but not to think that speaking once at a church or at church functions is enough and that endorsements from prominent ministers are not enough either.

    There will be push back (racist, hate Blacks, poor people, all white) and the party but more specifically the people at the ground level have to be ready to rebut this argument, explain why it’s wrong, and explain why the Democratic agenda is wrong. Maybe the SDGOP can run a training camp for this to prepare the people for this.

    Another thing the party can’t keep doing is the old Republicans are good because Lincoln freed the slaves. If you can’t find any other argument in favor of Blacks voting Republican then you need to close up shop, because if you can’t find any other reason over 150 years then it’s a joke.

    The party also can’t think this is a game winning grandslam. It’s going to take multiple election cycles and there will be downturns, but it’s better than what they’ve been doing.

  2. Accurate and insightful Brian. Kevin had the vision and the courage to reach out to Black people in San Diego. I admire him for that. It was a good beginning. I hope he’s following through on this.

    Trump has shown that the Republican Party can grow by giving a hand up to the people the Democrats used and ignored, Black Americans. They want the same things we all do, jobs to provide a life and a future for their families.

  3. Post
    Author

    I wish I could add what you just said to the post, Marshall Plan. Wait,that’s the beauty of a blog; you just did. Thank you.

    Some comments:

    1- “The party also can’t think this is a game winning grandslam. It’s going to take multiple election cycles and there will be downturns, but it’s better than what they’ve been doing.”

    Absolutely. It’s a long game. The results from this effort won’t be felt for at least 4-8 years. I talked about this 4 years ago but never acted on it in a meaningful way. I never got anything but encouragement to act on it myself. I envisioned a Republican field office in Encanto, City Heights, etc but I expected others to lead. That’s over. I”ll find the funding, the space, and engage the volunteers myself.

    2- “Another thing the party can’t keep doing is the old Republicans are good because Lincoln freed the slaves. If you can’t find any other argument in favor of Blacks voting Republican then you need to close up shop, because if you can’t find any other reason over 150 years then it’s a joke.”

    Exactly. There is nothing wrong with building upon this legacy but the rely on this argument alone is pitiful. There are San Diego NAACP Chapter presidents who were very engaged in the republican Party in the 40s-70s and that is also a legacy on which we can build but the Emancipation Proclamation and the post WWII-era is 50 years old

    3- “San Diego County is not Los Angeles County. The SDGOP needs to go after Black voters in all areas, but they need to treat them as voters. No identity politics. Tell them why the Democratic message in California is wrong and why the Republican message is better”

    I said the the moral is the practical and I really believe this. if we approach this like we are “campaigning for the black vote”, we lose. If we approach this with true love in our hearts, with the passion of a newly ordained Jesuit priest, we stand to make life better for our neighbors. And if we don’t understand that these are truly our neighbors, we don’t deserve to compete in the ideas marketplace because we are charlatans.

    4- “There will be push back (racist, hate Blacks, poor people, all white) and the party but more specifically the people at the ground level have to be ready to rebut this argument, explain why it’s wrong, and explain why the Democratic agenda is wrong.”

    This really is the hardest part (at least for me). I have not had the courage to act on this passionately (other than my half-hearted attempts thus far) because I’ve been snickered at when I did, I attended a few events over the past few years and I felt the stares, the ridicule, and the eye rolls and I let it bow me. I didn’t have the courage to act on my true convictions because I was scared of being seen as “patronizing”. Because I let that fear defeat me, I WAS patronizing .

    Engagement is more than showing up (although you get a lot of points for just showing up). Engagement is listening actively. An Encanto man told me, in 2013, that he thought the tea party was racist and he was shocked that I ( a very active tea party activist) would even care about his opinion. What he told me was golden (I’m paraphrasing):

    “We finally elect the first black President and you run around calling him ‘the worst President ever”. You never even gave him a chance. Barack Obama was out there trying to change the world and you just said he’s horrible. Obama’s policies might not be good but our kids see a black man in the Oval Office, trying to make a difference and then they hear you say ‘worst President ever’. We don’t hear you say ‘worst President ever’, we hear you say “n*****’ ”

    That honesty hit me like a slap in the face. he continued…

    “I think you’re a good guy, Brian. i think you mean well but you need to stop calling my President…OUR President.. a n**** ” That was a game changer for me.

    Thanks for the comments, Marshall Plan. Please keep them coming

  4. I agree that republicans need to reach out to the Hispanic and African American communities …. but where do I start. Do you have some leaders I can contact and have speak at my women’s republican group in mission valley …

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